This article originally appeared in our July 2009 edition of ListenUp!.

At ETA, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to help our customers save money, enhance productivity, and protect their business-critical assets.  In fact, we spend thousands of hours every year researching, evaluating and testing the latest innovations in voice and data technology.

It’s all part of ETA’s mission to help “cut through the hype” of technology and help our customers implement best-in-class solutions that deliver value. That’s why we’re excited to highlight two recent technological advancements that can help your business cut costs, become more efficient, and safeguard your ability to stay up and running: SIP Trunking and Data Recovery.

SIP Trunking: How the “New VoIP” Can Reduce Costs and Enhance Collaboration

SIP Trunking, a new communications technology solution, is gaining popularity at breakneck speed.  In fact, Infonetics Research, a leading industry analyst firm, predicts that SIP Trunking will hit an annual 89% compound growth rate by 2013.

So you may be wondering… What is SIP Trunking, and why is it gaining popularity so quickly?  Simply put, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking allows businesses to send voice and data communications, both internally and externally, over the Internet instead of the regular telephone network.  This is a departure from traditional Voice over IP (VoIP) applications, which have to translate internal IP communications before they can travel – as voice communications – over phone lines.

This “direct connection” to the Internet can deliver several key cost-saving benefits, including:

  • Substantially lower toll charges for long distance, International, and local access calls.
  • Reduces or eliminates many hardware-related costs associated with traditional Voice over IP solutions, such as managed gateway devices and T1 circuit cards
  • Reduces recurring monthly costs for separate voice and data circuits, since SIP carries voice and data over one connection
  • Eliminates over-subscribing for voice – Traditional VoIP connections are often sold in standard packages that contain large numbers of “channels”  that provide more bandwidth than a small business needs. SIP architecture allows companies to pay only for the bandwidth they use.
  • Simplified, cost-effective access to Unified Communications (UC) – SIP Trunking’s streamlined architecture provides more efficient and affordable access to powerful collaboration tools such as chat services, audio/video conferencing, application sharing, “find me follow me” technology and more.

However, like all communications technology solutions, one size doesn’t fit all.  To truly maximize the potential for cost savings with SIP Trunking, it’s critical to work with a partner who can thoroughly analyze your existing communications infrastructure, understand your business’ workflow and goals, and design a customized SIP Trunking plan using the technology and service providers that fit the best.

At ETA, that’s exactly what we do. We work with you to thoroughly understand your technology needs and business objectives to design customized SIP Trunking solutions that help reduce costs while enhancing collaboration.  Want to learn more about how SIP Trunking can help your business?  Contact us to schedule a no-obligation SIP evaluation with one of ETA’s team of experts.

Data Recovery: Enterprise-Class Continuity at SMB Costs – With No Capital Purchase!

Even with the economy on the rebound, it can still be challenging to keep sales up when things are running smoothly – So what happens if the business-critical data resources on your key servers become unavailable?   Whether it’s due to a power or network outage, equipment failure or natural disaster, every hour you lose getting back up and running cuts into your productivity and profits.  In fact, industry studies show that 40% of companies that suffer a significant, unrecoverable data loss for 3 days go out of business within 36 months.Although small and mid-size businesses understand the negative impacts downtime can cause, they have historically not had effective and efficient options to get servers up and running when outages happen.  While most companies have some sort of tape, hard drive, or USB backup system in place, these systems are made for storage – Not recovery.  It typically takes 1-3 days to fully restore a server from long-term storage media, between locating the tape or drive with the latest data, loading the Operating System onto a new server, installing all the necessary patches, configuring user settings and loading the backed up data.  However, sophisticated data recovery options such as clustering, high availability, replication and co-location, while providing almost instantaneous uptime during an outage, are typically way too expensive for smaller businesses.

To bridge this gap, ETA introduced a solution that delivers Enterprise-class data recovery at prices designed for the smaller business.  Server Data Recovery PoweredUp!™ is designed to get you back up and running in the shortest possible timeframe and with extremely little exposure to data loss. In fact, our Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – Or the time it takes to restore full connectivity to your critical files and applications, – can be as little as an hour. And our Recovery Point Objective (RPO), or the amount of time and data lost, can be as low as 15 minutes. Here’s how we do it: An initial image, or “snapshot” of your servers is taken and stored on the PoweredUp!™ Network Appliance (installed and managed by ETA). Every 15 minutes, all changes since the last image are recorded and stored as well.  Server backups are then transferred via an online connection to a secure, remote data center to ensure redundancy and reduce risk in the event your office or technology infrastructure becomes compromised or unavailable.There are two options available to restore your server data, depending on your business needs.  Either way, getting you back up and running couldn’t be easier.

  1. Your server can be “virtualized” so it’s available online, usually within an hour.  This option is best in temporary outage situations where only a single production server has been damaged or compromised.
  2. A fully functional copy of your server can be shipped to you, typically arriving in as little as one day.  This option is best for situations where your server or building has been physically damaged or made inaccessible.

Best of all, ETA manages the service for you – All for one low monthly fee.  That means there’s no expensive equipment to buy or maintain, software patches to worry about, or staff needed for administration.  Want to learn more? Contact us to schedule an evaluation to see how ETA can help keep your business-critical data and applications PoweredUp!™